Contact: Lt. Douglas Messeck, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-258-4045, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: March 11-17
Reminder for the week: Wildlife, fishing and boating area visitors
asked to respect our natural resources
DOVER (March 21, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents between March 11-17 made 613 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 22 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 21 complaints and issued 17 citations, five of which were related to increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail currently under construction.
An incident of particular note was:
· On March 16, Michael A. Lotesto, 21, of Northeast, Md., and William P. Acklin, 22, of Elkton, Md., were arrested and charged with one count each of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on the C&D Canal Conservation Area. Both were given a mandatory appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in New Castle and released.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (1)*, New Castle County; Trespassing in a state wildlife area after hours (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (1), and possession of undersized rockfish (2), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana (2)*, and possession of drug paraphernalia (2)*, New Castle County; Driving with a suspended license (1), and passing on a double yellow line (1), Kent County; Speeding (2), Kent and Sussex counties.
Boating Safety: Expired boat registration (1), Kent County; Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), Kent and Sussex counties.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With spring coming, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section will be increasing patrols and more closely monitoring state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.
“The public is encouraged to enjoy our wildlife, fishing and boating access areas and the unique outdoor experiences they offer,” said Lt. Douglas Messeck of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “However, as stewards of this land for Delaware, we cannot allow a few people who do not respect our conservation mission to ruin things for the many who do. And those who are caught abusing our natural resources through illegal activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Enforcement reminds all anglers, hunters, boaters and other visitors that the following rules apply to all state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas:
· All areas are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless actively engaged in fishing or hunting in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules.
· It is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including ATVs, motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Such activity damages essential wildlife habitat, as well as generating unnecessary work and expense to repair the damage. The ground is especially vulnerable with the recent temperature extremes causing frequent thawing and refreezing.
· All areas have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.
“Littering can be a problem, especially in many fishing areas, so please leave no trace of it behind and take your trash from fishing with you,” Lt. Messeck added.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.
Vol. 44, No. 75